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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stoner leads Barcelona practice


Repsol Honda´s Casey Stoner was fastest again in the second practice session of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya on Friday, after also topping the FP1. The Australian beat out Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) while Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) nicked a last minute third place from Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Stoner set the early fast lap in the rainy practice conditions, with most riders lapping close to eight seconds slower than the FP1 times. As the rain continued, many riders retreated to the garages while some, including Lorenzo, never ventured out until the last quarter of the practice session.

The rain allowed those who did venture into the slick conditions to see their names at the top of the timesheet throughout the session. Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) battled with Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) for the lead time, both bettering each others fastest laps until the last 14 minutes, when the weather let up slightly and the time pressed the other riders into action.

The last 12 minutes saw Stoner retop the top chart with a blistering 1:42.940, followed by the Italian Simoncelli, who caught and held the second spot in the last five minutes with a time of 1:43.468 and held onto it until the end. Both riders were nearly one second faster than their FP1 times.

Dovizioso grabbed third position from Lorenzo in the last seconds of practice, with a time of 1:43.603, 0.870s faster than the reigning world champion. Fellow Factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) followed his team mate in fifth, with a time of 1:44.859.

Edwards landed the sixth spot with his time battling with Bautista earlier in the wet session, but later crashed and sustained a broken right collarbone. Fellow Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow finished behind Edwards in seventh.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was again the quickest Ducati, finishing once again in eighth with a time just under 1s slower than his FP1 time. Teammate Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) finished 0.045s behind the American. Both Ducatis were behind the fastest lap set by Stoner by 1.904s and 2.392s respectively.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) again finished in 10th place, though he was unable to better his previous time, landing a 1:45.666, just under three tenths of a second under his FP1 time.

Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing), who had seen his name at the top of the timing during the mid session rain, finished 13th with a time of 1:46.126.

Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) stole the top spot from Swiss rider Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) at the end of a heated Moto2 practice session at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) finished third fastest followed by Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing).

With the weather clearing from the earlier rainy conditions, Lüthi looked set to claim the fastest time of the final session of the day, but it was Corsi who grabbed the tops spot in the dying moments of FP2, beating the FP1 leader by 0.121 of a second.

Bradley Smith (Tech 3) fell out of the top three in the last minutes of practice to finish fifth, moving up seven positions from his FP1 finish.

Current 125 Championship leader Nicolas Terol (Bankia Aspar) again set the fastest time of the day in a wet second practice session. German rider Sandro Cortese (Intact-Racing Team Germany) also set a second fastest time of the day, followed by Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team's Maverick Viñales.


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